“I’ll be in the fitness hall waiting!” I called across as a pretty young redhead dragged my daughter away. I didn’t think Morgan was the kind to have branched out to find friends especially one who seemed to have such an overfilling personality so the redhead had probably found her. A blonde boy was also added into the mix of people she seemed to be herding. He was the one who had kept sneaking terrified glances at me from far away. The sort of way Ash would pretend he wasn’t looking at me and avoided my attention. I guess I just have that affect on their age group males, I suppose I would be pretty intimidating to guys like that especially the friends of Morgan who had the prospect of having to spend time with Morgan and I.
I quite liked the redhead. I could feel her fire presence; it radiated quite a large way. I watched with interest as her delicate form managed to have power to drag two people along chatting madly. I reached the desk with the young woman who looked thoroughly disgruntled and busy, not filing her nails as I had watched her do yesterday.
“Hello?” I asked as she madly checked papers and picked up calls.
“Just drop off your signed papers here thanks.” She said without looking up. I had in fact completely forgotten about them. I slipped them onto her pile anyway.
“I was actually wondering how to get to the fitness hall?
She stopped in her tracks and sniggered a little. “The fitness testing is on the top floor”
“Everybody knows that!” She mumbled in almost disbelief as I walked away.
I went up to fourth floor first, brushing the horse hair off my suit pants as the elevator rocketed. I think Morgan had found it kind of strange to see horse riders in suits. Our horse tracks are very good and besides this was our world’s only particularly formal place.
The fourth floor was deserted. My footsteps broke the looming silence as I walked steadily towards the long desk and overly grandeur door at the end. It didn’t seem to get any closer as the dim lights although constant gave out the impression of flickering torchlight from large candles along a creepy mansion wall by night.
After what seemed like ten minutes of walking I reached the small desk and opened my mouth to speak.
“Name?” she asked before I got a chance to utter a syllable.
“Gladys you’ve known me for thirty years do I still need to do this?” I pleaded.
“You’re not above regulations Mike no matter how long it’s been. Name please?”
Slowly I let out a sigh. “Mike of Ollerond”
“And why do you seek a meeting of the council or office with a council member?”
This is where my response would shake her. I could see her pen already loomed over the box of ‘Seeks office with Cecil of Ollerond.’
“I wish to call a council meeting. It is a matter of life and death and must be held with due urgency in three days with my daughter and I.” I grinned as she raised her eyebrows.
“Mike dear what are you on about? Calling a meeting is no joke you can’t just call them to parade your daughter about. I’m not arranging that!”
“I thought we had regulations to follow here Gladys.” I taunted. “Someone calls an urgent meeting you can’t turn them away.”
“I can if it’s not actually urgent Mike.” She didn’t look happy I was using her precious rules against her
“Gladys please, this won’t be about parading her around. There may be war at stake.”
“War?” Her head shot up. “We haven’t had a war in one hundred years Mike! They will never agree to whatever it is.”
“They may have to.”
“I see” She thought over what I was saying. “I will call a meeting but if I get in trouble for this Mike.” The look in her eyes was enough of a threat that she didn’t need to say what exactly she would do.
“I knew you had a soft spot for me.” I laughed turning from the desk.
I could feel her eyes boring into the back of my head.
I smiled “Don’t give me that look. I know you do”
Her hard faced expression faded and there was a smile in her eyes.
“See you then Mike. Shall I send the confirmation to Reed’s Ranch?”
“Yes, thank you, see you then.” I waved as I marched back down the corridor, faint noises of her muttering buzzed across my electronic ear.
“Hasn’t changed a bit.” I just laughed more.
“Neither have you Gladys!” I called back.
The walk back to the door seemed a lot shorter and less eerie. My footsteps sounded softer and the light seemed stable. That was the easy bit.
I clicked the elevator and it opened just in time to see the first kids. I soon realised how cold it was and looked around.
No walls, No ceiling. We were standing on a platform, wind blowing back my hair.
“Oh this could be interesting.” I said under my breath. An elevator on the other side opened. Six kids came out but not Morgan.
More groups came up and I could see Morgan looking around desperately for the two kids who had come up just before her. The test would soon begin.